Local that Works is an annual contest that spotlights innovative and replicable content, engagement and revenue initiatives at public radio and TV stations, and nonprofit news organizations in the U.S.
Explore the curated LTW database of 350+ projects. Entries from the 2020 contest will be added to this database this fall.
Tips on using the database: If viewing this on a computer, all projects are listed in the left column. Click on a project name and its longer profile will appear in the right column. If viewing on mobile, clicking on a project name will load the full listing on your screen.
You can filter your results by selecting a tag or multiple tags in the categories drop down menu and clicking on search. If you want to change, broaden or narrow the results, make sure to uncheck categories for subsequent searches.
To see previous Local that Works contest winners, finalists and semi-finalists, click on green, purple or orange tags and our judges’ favorite projects will show up in the left column.
73 results found.
The New Jersey Sustainability Reporting project – a state wide news collaborative spearheaded by CivicStory – generates local news stories about sustainability issues and actions required to resolve our climate crises. Through 6-month fellowships, early to mid-career journalists report for diverse New Jersey newsrooms, and help citizens shift from day-to-day thinking to longer-term consideration of the needs, health, and wellbeing of future generations.
As part of its newly-formed Queen City PodQuest Academy program, WFAE offered free “Podcasting 101” classes. Over the course of 10 weeks, students gained an understanding of the fundamentals of podcasting, production skills and marketing tips, and walked away with a resource list for the future. Of the 500 people who attended the classes, 30 went on to attend the Queen City PodQuest Academy for in-depth training and lessons. WFAE believes in the power of podcasting to amplify diverse voices, remove barriers to storytelling, and to build and connect communities. We want to help Charlotte area residents tap into the power of podcasting to tell their own unique stories.
CareerExplore Northwest is an educational initiative created by KSPS PBS as a workforce development solution for our viewing region. Far beyond a typical job search website, it helps students and adults discover viable career paths by providing behind-the-scenes videos and easily accessible answers to questions about in-demand jobs in the Spokane region and what it takes to get them.
Prior to the pandemic, WFYI had set up a Be My Neighbor Day event at the city library with several community partners, a sensory-friendly area, and an expected 1,200 guests. COVID-19 forced us to cancel the live event, so we pivoted to a mix of educational outreach and volunteer engagement for a Be My Neighbor Week.
Grace Weber’s Music Lab (GWML) is a free monthly music education program and talent accelerator for Milwaukee area high schoolers, providing opportunities to refine performance skills; build connections between engaged and talented young people; expose participants to the multiple career opportunities available in creative industries; and to participate in performances and talks by professional musicians, entertainment industry professionals and artists. This program is critical to meeting the growing and changing needs of our city and youth – Grace Weber’s Music Lab reaches kids with art forms that are increasingly relevant and central to their lives, including diverse music from hip-hop to alternative to spoken word.
In partnership with Fresno Unified School District, the 3rd largest in the state of California and a district with 90% economically disadvantaged and diverse students living below the poverty line without equal access to online learning, Valley PBS created an on-air program from 8am – 9am each day that targets Literacy Lessons for K, 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders and is taught by FUSD teachers. Students have been able to learn and review fundamentals over-the-air, streaming on Facebook Live daily and on the website since June and lessons are translated into Spanish and Hmong as well; the program has just been extended until December 18th and expanded to include Pre-K and T-K lessons.
A Parent’s Guide to Public Schools is a free “consumer report” tool, distributed to 50,000 families to aid parents in making decisions about their childrens’ education. The Guide, produced in English and Spanish, provides an overview of every local public school’s performance in easy-to-read charts, with answers to basic questions about public school options. VOSD works UC San Diego to analyze the school performance data and with the San Diego Workforce Partnership to cover topics like vocational training. Read Current’s coverage of this project.
In partnership with two public high schools, Delaware Public Media’s Generation Voice program provides innovative career-building opportunities for students interested in digital media. Students work with professional journalists to learn the highest standards of news gathering and reporting. In the past year, participants have written and produced features on colorism, teen vaping, youth immigration, and gun violence; they produced creative storytelling podcasts and a series of parent/grandparent interviews done in the manner of the StoryCorps.
Democracy & Me is an educational outreach program of Cincinnati Public Radio aimed “increasing students’ civic participation as they become adults.” The program provides social studies teachers with tools, learning experiences, lesson plans, news stories and a blog focused on the American electoral process and the roles of citizens and the media. The fall teacher training session focused on problem-based learning; the spring sessions focused on podcasting project for the classroom, with 29 teachers (reaching 2,330 students) registered for the D&M workshops.
New Jersey Sustainability Reporting Project
The New Jersey Sustainability Reporting (NJSR) project began in January 2019 at Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media as a collaborative effort among representatives from nine local environmental nonprofits. We shared the goal of supporting new forms of news to address our worsening environmental crisis and together, create a plan for the future NJSR Hub that included:
-Eight journalism fellows from geographically diverse New Jersey newsrooms to receive training to report on sustainability issues and action
-Searchable NJSR Hub website to aggregate and archive the stories
-Weekly or biweekly newsletter highlighting our multimedia stories
-Content distribution partners including higher education institutions to help reach a combined audience exceeding those of the newsrooms.
We hired a project manager and began recruiting newsrooms in May 2019. Two months later, we interviewed and selected our eight reporting fellows. In August, we finalized our letters of understanding with the seven participating newsrooms and held three training and orientation days. The fellows began reporting in September, and in November, we launched the SRHub website with our first 12 stories, and sent out the first newsletter to 2,900 CivicStory subscribers.
Our news editors committed to publishing sustainability stories in return for a stipend of $4,000 which was paid directly to the newsrooms. They were responsible for producing 10-12 print stories or 6-8 video or audio segments. Each newsroom retained their editorial independence and were not obligated to post each other’s content. CivicStory and the NJSR Hub project director communicated regularly with the fellows about story ideas and progress. By the end of the pilot phase in February 2020, we had a total of 59 stories posted to our website. The number had grown to more than 100 by late August.
We started SRHub because we found that news coverage of sustainability issues often fails to match the scale and urgency of our global ecological crises. Citizens need to know how they impact the climate and what they can do to prevent these crises from worsening right at home. Daily news plays a key role in conveying this information and engaging diverse audiences. As the most densely populated state and a birthplace of U.S. industry, we believe New Jersey has important sustainability stories to tell.
Since starting the NJSR Hub project, we have seen a measurable impact on sustainability coverage in our state. Our newsroom editors have cited the fellowship program as the impetus for reporting stories that otherwise would not have been told. There has also been a higher prevalence of front-page sustainability stories across our partner organizations and increased knowledge about the topic on the part of our fellows. We have also partnered successfully with The College of New Jersey, where a journalism and computer science course focused on our work and a student intern developed both a tagging system and interactive map that rolled out in Fall 2020.
As of August 2020, the NJ Sustainability Reporting project has generated $38,500 in revenue from partners, business sponsorship, foundation grants, and crowd-funding.http://www.SRHub.org